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Edited by David Booth. Illustrated by Michele Lemieux.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 1990.
41pp., hardcover, $14.95.
ISBN 0-921103-79-4. CIP.

Subject Headings:
Seasons-Juvenile poetry.
Children's poetry, English.

Preschool-grade 4 / Ages 4-9

Reviewed by Maryleah Otto.

Volume 18 Number 6
1990 November

Voices on the Wind is a treasure for children and for those adults fortunate enough to read it to them. This is exactly the way youngsters should be introduced to poetry. David Booth's meticulously selected anthology spans two centuries and widely varying styles ranging from the classical vocabulary of William Blake's Lamb and Emily Bronte's Ladybird to the modern humour of Jack Prelutsky's I am Flying and the impassioned plea for the recognition of nature's wonders in Chief Dan George's And my Heart Soars.

Other poets whose work is represented include Mark Van Doren, John Ciardi, Felice Holman, Jane Yolen, Christina Rossetti, Robert Louis Stevenson and Rose Fyleman. And Beatrix Potter's charming Fishes Come Bite is a happy surprise indeed.

Booth, who is a professor of children's literature at the Faculty of Education, University of Toronto, has chosen twenty-eight poems in all to cover the four seasons. In each one, nature is described as though seen through a child's eyes or interpreted by a child's unique imagination. The effect is pure magic.

Michele Lemieux, whose work enjoys international acclaim, equals Booth's editorial expertise with her wonderful illustrations. Each poem has a full page, sometimes even a doublepage spread, to itself. The paintings often fill the entire page. They are full of joy and occasionally whimsy. Their soft lines and mostly gentle hues are perfect reflections of the accompanying poem's content both thematically and emotionally.

Voices on the Wind belongs in every Canadian library, public school or home. I would have liked more Canadian content in the book, however, as well as a multi-racial representation in the paintings. As it stands, the book has a definite Anglo-American, nineteenth-century quality to which thousands of children today may not easily relate.

Maryleah Otto, St. Thomas Public Library, St. Thomas, ON.
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